Sunday, November 11, 2018

Little Solar Update

I've been using a 50 watt solar panel to keep the batteries topped up. This weekend I decided to put up one of the 100 watt panels on the side.

I first drilled a couple holes for the little kick stand that helps keep the panel positioned. I first setup the panel to the outside of the stanchion as it normally would but since I'll still be in the yard awhile, I turned it around so the panel would mainly be over the boat.

Normal setup

Still well inside of the hull side

While set for charging normally

This is where I turned it around

View from the cockpit
So far I really like how this is looking. I'm happy I chose this position for a solar setup. I'll still have to put up one on the port side. This would do well for a cruising setup.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

a couple updates

I've been in and out of town lately.

Went to Sacremento for a week for visiting wife's family, then not long after, we were in Vancouver, B.C. to visit more of wife's family, then we were near Long Beach, CA for a wife's work trip for a month.

Trying to get back into working on Rhapsody. At least since returning from the latest trip, I have mounted the AIS transponder under the nav desk. Now, I think I just need to find a splitter to share the masthead antenna or route a cable for a new dedicated antenna for it, but not necessarily on the mast. Testing it at ground level, in the truck while sitting in the marina, it gets pretty good reception and signal does get out just fine.

and that little red board is just a bluetooth audio amp that I connect with my phone to listen to some music while I work.

I have also been installing some insulating material in the starboard side quarterberth. That uses up the material I had on hand and frees up a little space I have on the boat. Still a little more to do but it's coming along.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Still At It.

Been four months and no posts, what gives?

Well, "life" is what happened.

Not to worry, I've still been plugging away on the boat when I can, so maybe I can say a little about what I've been up to. (and, no Matt, this isn't a 12 part mini-series)

The main reason I haven't posted any updates is that there's little progress going on at any one time. I mean, how many times can I really post "still working to scrape off bottom paint" before that gets old... believe me, it's getting old for me too. Since progress is slow on paint removal, I'm looking to hire someone to finish that part, then I'll do repairs of deep pitting/holes before applying a barrier coat and bottom paint.

Back in December, I signed off on the last paperwork I needed to retire from the military, only my actual retirement date was April. You'd think that now I'm retired, I'd have plenty of free time to work on the boat, right? Nope, wrong. So. Very. Wrong. I'd say now, I have less free time than I did before. Mainly because I have a 1yr old. Wife still works so I'm at the house most of the time watching the little one. She is getting to be quite the handful and SUCH A DADDY'S GIRL. I can't do much without her right beside me wanting to be picked up.

So, I still only get one day a week, Saturdays, to visit the boat. Most Saturday's anyway. Because of my retirement, I had to get a new drivers license and re-register my vehicles in Virginia since I can now no longer keep Tennessee. That ate up a couple weekends getting vehicles inspected & emissions testing. Then another weekend was my daughers first birthday. Basically, it ended up being about a month I couldn't get to the boat. Other weekends it was just slow progress in some part because of the weather (RAIN) but worked on other smaller things instead.

While I was going to wait until the boat launched, I decided to go ahead and get solar on the boat. Nothing setup just yet. Since I can get to the boat only one day a week, which is the only time I can charge the batteries, I figured solar woud be good to use to keep the batteries topped up the rest of the week. I'll post more on that later.

I also got an AIS transponder. I've been testing it the last few visits to the boat using one of the antennas on the truck. Works pretty good and hope to install that in the boat soon as well. I plan to post more on that later as well.

Not much else to it. Just wanted to show that I'm still at it, when I can. Soon, wife and I are going out of town for a couple weeks to Vancouver, BC, so that'll eat into the boat work too. Wife has plans on visiting other places too.

At this point, I'm not sure if I'll launch this year but I'll keep at it.

It'll launch one of these days.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Engine Wire Harness

It's been a little over a month since I visited the boat. One of the inspection ports on the fuel tank, while covered, wasn't bolted down. I decided to bolt it down and saw water drops coming out from the rubber seal. I opened it up and found the tank almost full of water. Surprising as I didn't realize that much water was in there. When I first installed new seacocks for the cockpit drains, I didn't put sealant on them right away. At least, not until I saw a little water sitting on top of the tank. Didn't think then to look inside. While the tank was filled with water, the bilge was dry. So, it'll at least hold fluid. To get the water out, I decided to get one of the water hoses laying around the boat yard to siphon it out. Went to the local hardware store to get a drill powered pump and got it started. once the siphon started, I disconnected the pump so it would flow out on its own. Then went inside to make sure the hose was at the bottom of the tank.

I left the inspection port uncovered so any moisture in the tank could evaporate. Good thing I removed the water when I did. The temperatures the past month has been in the 20s (highs) for quite a few days at a time. don't need that freezing.

The seacocks I installed are now sealed up, but I only have 3 installed. I still have one more to install for the cockpit drains. It'll take a little more time to get that setup as it's next to the little shelf the old water-lift muffler sat. So the backing plate is probably going to be triangular instead of round like the others. The hose on the seacocks are a bit annoying. Every time I try getting them on, they don't go very far and can get only one hoseclamp around it. For some reason, not enough hose gets on the barb for two clamps. I've been using Dawn dish soap to lubricate the hose and barb, but still nothing. They sure are a tight fit.

This weekend, or rather yesterday (20 Jan), I visited the boat and installed the wiring harness on the engine. Finally found a reference in the service manual... on the very last page... for were the wires went. The wires are color coded so that helped. There was a couple things I wasn't quite sure on so I looked at older pictures I took to see where they went. Now, the only thing left is to run a power cable from the battery supply to the engine. I have some 4 ga. wire laying around that I can use, and just need to order connectors. I'll get them from genuinedealz like I did previous times.

Some of the little stuff is what really adds up in getting things ready. So, in addition to running power to the engine, I still need to reinstall the exhaust hoses and new water-lift muffler. I also need to connect the fuel lines, make a vent hole in one of the inspection plates, install new stuffing box, replace cutlass bearing and some other things before I get to working on the bottom to prep it for barrier coat and bottom paint. I hope to launch this year, but like always, we'll have to see how things go along the way.

I recently ordered brakes for the trailer. I was thinking to work on that this weekend but right now I'm looking at putting the effort towards the boat to get ready to sail again first. Until then, the brakes are sitting at the house. I'll post more on that when I actually do the work on it.